The longest continually running fair in Oregon, The Grant County Fair is the highlight of the summer. Held on the fairgrounds in the center of John Day, along the river, families enjoy a rodeo, carnival rides, amusements and live music and much more. The 4H livestock competition recognizes the traditions of animal husbandry of the area and welcomes the next generation of into a strong community of proud ranchers and farmers.
A quick drive on some dirt roads arrives you at a gorgeous mountain lake. Offering camping, picnic and BBQ stations and a sand beach, a visit to the lake is a perfect plan for a summer day. Popular for swimming or floating, be mindful of swimming safety for yourself and loved ones. Be sure to pack sunscreen and towels and enjoy a perfect respite from the rest of the world.
The Strawberry Mountains are located southeast of John Day, Oregon, in the Malheur National Forest. The prominent range contains a 69,000-acre wilderness area and provides numerous recreation opportunities. Most visitors enjoy the area between the months of June and October. Enjoy rugged hiking at elevations ranging from 4,000 ft to the 9,038-foot summit of Strawberry Mountain. Over a hundred miles of trails cross the wilderness, offering vista after vista to the enterprising hiker.
Use of motor vehicles and motorized equipment in wilderness areas is prohibited. See https://wilderness.net/learn-about-wilderness/regulations.php for additional information.
Seek and find wildlife in its natural surroundings. Black Bears, Elk, Eagles and so much more, making their livelihoods in the untrammeled wilderness surrounding John Day. Depending on the season, you can drive a good distance into the wilderness, or when snow is on the ground, you will need to hike or even snowshoe. Beautiful and inspiring sights await.
Following a beautiful day there’s nothing better than a comfortable place to lay your head. John Day has excellent options for where to stay, both in town and immediately surrounding.
Many visitors to the area are touring, such as in RV’s, motorcycles and overlanding rigs. For each of these specialized forms of camping, please refer to the smart map below to navigate your options.
Families have good choices too. Whether it be the pool at the local Motel 8 a local hotel, or family campsites at the Grant County Fairgrounds, whether weather permitting, directly on Highway 24 26.
More adventurous clans can plan backpacking overnights in the Strawberry Wilderness, among others. Be sure to stop by the local outfitters for maps, tips and last minute supplies of bug repellent, sunscreen and ice.
For honeymooners, retirees or others looking for a softer side of John Day, hotels are available. Several good options in the City are listed below on the map. These make a good choice for efficient, comfortable stays with good access to restaurants and more in town.